Links 2/17/14

Cat parasite found in Arctic Beluga BBC

Jet stream shift could prompt harsher winters: scientists AFP

News Corp’s $882m blew the budget Australian Australian Financial Review (AM). “The single largest factor in the underlying deterioration of the federal budget announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in December was a cash payout of almost $900 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.” Ouch!

Thomas Friedman Escaped and Is Writing About Economics Again CEPR

Political Economist Answers: What’s So Dangerous About Austerity? Truthout. The bailouts were “a class-specific put option.”

Pay Pals, HuffPo. Excellent data visualization of what Fortune 500 directors paid each other, 2008-2012.

Get Off the Bus LRB. Class war in SF.

Groupon Celebrates President Hamilton Political Wire

Sophisticated but low-tech power grid attack baffles authorities LA Times (FM).

Getting oil, tankers off the bridge Philadelphia Inquirer (PT).

To Russia with love: Obama’s big energy leve FT

Shipbuilder to explore methane hydrate in Japan waters Asahi Shimbun

VW works council says will pursue labor representation at U.S. plant Reuters

Small-firm lawyer takes on Wall Street and wins, twice Reuters

Stealthily, Comcast Fortifies Its Arsenal Times

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Spy, whistleblower, hero, traitor … but will Snowden be Glasgow Uni rector? The Herald (FM)

Surveillance revelations: Angela Merkel proposes European network to beat NSA and GCHQ spying Independent

Abbott Denies ‘Commercial’ Spying Amid Fresh Snowden Leak Bloomberg

NSA reform stalls in committee The Hill

Keith Alexander Refutes Claims NSA Doesn’t Get Cell Data emptywheel

Is Hillary Clinton the president we need at this time? Daily Kos (JB). Sighting shot from Warren-supporting Kos staffer.

America risks becoming a Downton Abbey economy Larry Summers, FT

For Democrats looking to post-Obama era, how populist a future? WaPo. “[Warren and de Blasio] have galvanized voters with fiery lines and fresh thinking.” Do it for the lulz….

The matter with Kansas now: The Tea Party, the 1 percent and delusional Democrats Salon

Venezuela president expels three US consular officials BBC

Venezuelan protest leader calls new rally Al Jazeera

Train firms failing half of passengers: Delays, overcrowding and poor value for money means customer satisfaction is ‘shockingly low’ Daily Mail. Thanks, Maggie!

Scottish independence: Barroso says joining EU would be ‘difficult’ BBC

On fire Economist

Citius, Altius, Frigidiores Grantland

We’re Back to Lying n+1

Sisi’s Turn LRB

Qatar World Cup: 400 Nepalese die on nation’s building sites since bid won Guardian. If the left could get every World Cup viewer thinking “That Nepalese could be me,” there would be a left.

Turkey in eye of emerging market storm as everything goes wrong at once Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Graft probe shattered currency calculations: Turkish Central Bank chief  Hurriyet Daily News

Asia stocks rally, dollar slips as emerging market fears wane Reuters

Alibaba tackles weaknesses ahead of IPO FT

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Farnham Street

Stuart Hall’s revolutionary legacy Al Jazeera

Alive in the Sunshine Jacobin. BIG.

Girl, 15, ‘shot dead by man, 48, who opened fire on teens in a blind rage after they dumped leaves and smashed eggs on his car as a prank’ Daily Mail. Just another Second Amendment externality. 

Fascism and the Future, Part One: Up From Newspeak The Archdruid Report. “[W]hen Germany’s National Socialists were out there canvassing for votes in the years before 1933, they weren’t marching proudly behind banners saying VOTE FOR HITLER SO FIFTY MILLION WILL DIE!” Nazi tactics were plain enough, contemporaneously. Disappointing.

Maine farmer, seed curator forms new grass-roots group Portland Press-Herald

Antidote du jour:

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. dearieme

    “Train firms failing half of passengers: Delays, overcrowding and poor value for money means customer satisfaction is ‘shockingly low’ Daily Mail. Thanks, Maggie!”

    Why thank Maggie? Rail privatisation happened years after she left office. You’ve been caught by your own knee-jerking there.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thatcher got the privatization ball rolling, even if the greyish cipher who followed her, John Major, did the dirty deed on rail. That never would have happened without Thatcher. Not sure why you feel the need to whitewash Thatcher.

      1. JustAnObserver

        Just to recall: Rail privatisation was IIRC the last one, certaily the last big one. The Conservatives kept it in their back pocket until they needed a last wedge of wonga to bribe the electorate with tax cuts & buy one last election – in this case the 1997 one. They failed, spectacularly, to win that election but the damage to the country’s rail system was immense.

        It must be bad if even the Mail is highlighting it with a Conservative administration in charge …

        Now if we could only find a picture of an overcrowded train stranded by the floods surrounded by “Politicos-in-wellies staring at water”.

  2. dearieme

    “Is Hillary Clinton the president we need at this time?” Warren has been caught out as a crook on a rather small scale – faux squaw. Clinton, like Slick Willie, is a serious crook. If I were an American Democrat, I’d go for Warren. Whatever her faults, she surely wouldn’t be as poisonous as Hellary.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am really happy to see the cognitive dissonance among the Dem “faithful”.

      It couldn’t happen to a better group….and is also happening to the GOP but for other reasons.


    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Personally, I find talking about Warren’s opposition to single payer and hawkish stance on Iran preferable to racist epithets like “squaw,” but perhaps that’s just me. I’m not too enthused about joining with Howie Carr — the poor man’s Rush Limbaugh — in a strategic hate management campaign, either. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about the strategic hate management campaign against Clinton, if it comes to that, let alone spending $20 million dollars impeaching the guy over a *******. Tastes differ, I guess.

      1. cwaltz

        Now that I’m free range I find discussing how Democrats can try and get me back in the veal pen rather amusing. I really have no desire to vote for either at this point. Both are hawks and neither have significantly shown me that they can do anything other than talk a good game about fairness while reaping the benefits of being in the top.

          1. cwaltz

            Oh absolutely. Although I will say that after last campaign cycle where Dkos basically limited the discussion for every candidate(and allowed blatant unverified BS propaganda to be printed on its site) besides Obama, it’d be the last place I’d go to get a fair analysis of any of the candidates. Markos has even straight up said that he isn’t open to any solution to the Democratic Party besides more and better Democrats(even while using indies like Sanders to fundraise ironically enough.)

      2. dearieme

        She was the one who played the race card. Falsely, as it turned out. Surely those who believe in handing our racial privileges should object to race fraud?

    3. Synopticist

      I would go for Warren too, but then I don’t know who else within the dems could be considered as leftist.
      Hillary would be a f*ckin nightmare. More pro-oligarch triangulation with cuddly gay marriage thrown in. Plus she’s eminently beatable, and couldn’t muster up any of the “hopey changey” stuff that others could.

      1. taunger

        none in the dems are leftists, not even Warren. Why not vote for an actual left candidate, or one that blends important left ideals into their campaign? I would think the past 40 years has shown what two party rule gets you.

        1. montanamaven

          There is a reason why the Democratic Party is called a roach motel; where movements go in but they don’t come out. Must work outside the corporate parties. Not sure how. But it would help to start by demolishing this B.S. that there is a left wing of the party and that Warren represents it.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’d consider going for Warren if she got some bankster C*O’s thrown in jail. Nothing less. Questions on YouTube don’t make it. Better mortgage forms to fill out don’t make it. The issue isn’t transparency, as Warren and other “progressive” or “liberal” or whatever Democrats like to think; it’s criminality.

        1. cwaltz

          You’re in the same camp I am I think. I want a candidate that can prove that she/he can accomplish things not just talk at me. Sadly enough, I think the Democratic Party itself is a barrier when it comes to that. Watching Clinton fall on her sword on Pelosi and the rest of the party elites say so last go round made it clear to me that the Dem Party isn’t anymore into the messiness of democracy than the GOP, they’re just less transparent about it.

        2. participant-observer-observed

          As much as I admire her, the sneaking awareness of talking temperature modus operandi similarus begs the view:


      3. neo-realist

        I believe Hillary is beatable provided a true elite with TPTB and voting machine company backing runs, e.g., Jeb Bush, however a schlub like Christie who not only has corrupt political baggage in his backyard, but is perceived as too much of a liberal by the hard core conservatives that vote in the GOP primaries may have a tough time getting to the general election as a strong challenger to Clinton………assuming Clinton runs and does not have health problems or decides she’s not interested.

        1. participant-observer-observed

          I think Gerry Brown would be stronger talent than Hilary in action, judging on past performance.
          How about Gerry Brown & Kamala Harris?

          1. hunkerdown

            The California governor? Dear gods, no. He makes excuses and exceptions for his party’s power brokerage, same as the others. Also, on foreign policy, he’s on board with the USA’s “special relationship” with totalitarian apartheid states in SW Asia, and can’t be trusted there either.

            No Establishment fixture can be trusted until they actually break the Establishment’s ability to assert its interests. Winning is meaningless when it’s not for keeps.

            Now, if I wanted anyone caroling “California Über Alles”, would that we could draft Tom Campbell as an independent. He’s well to the left of the Democratic Party, and him telling Feinstein where to go would be a delightful little jolt of schädenfreude.

            1. neo-realist

              Linda Ronstadt’s ex boyfriend vetoed legislation to reduce penalties for simple drug possession—enriching the private prison complex—how Reaganite.

    4. Crazy Horse

      New rule: For every word wasted discussing the figureheads offered up as candidates by the Repugnut and Demothug wings of the Property Party you will be fined $1.

  3. Klassy

    Larry Summers, considering inequality states that it might be easy to “think of policies” that make it more difficult for Bill Gates or others “to start from and profit from a business”.

    Except that policies that make it easier for Bill Gates to profit from a business make it more difficult for others to start businesses.
    Kind of pulled a fast one there.

    1. Whine Country

      Can’t you just visualize Gates, Zuckerberg or one of the many other captains of “industry” sitting around in their early years thinking: “What in the world are we thinking, working this incredibly hard for only a couple hundred million”. Larry Summers is from another planet. We don’t need to create multi-bazillionaires in order for business to flourish. If many are getting too little, it is a mathematical certainty that there are two and only two solutions: (a) make growth significantly larger and allow the greater share to go to those less fortunate; or (b) take money from the more fortunate and give it to the less fortunate. The reason for Mr. Summers dilemma is that there has never been a time in history where, on this scale, growth has occurred at a large enough rate for the market, without significant government intervention, to produce enough to accomplish the task. So, thanks Larry, option (b) won’t work because, well, he says so, and option (a) history to just about all economists exists only in theory.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What is also mathematically true is that if you have 1,000 acres to mow around your mansion, you have to work harder (either do it yourself or supervise a bunch of loafers) than someone living in an apartment without no yard work to busy himself with.

      2. Synopticist

        “Can’t you just visualize Gates, Zuckerberg or one of the many other captains of “industry” sitting around in their early years thinking: “What in the world are we thinking, working this incredibly hard for only a couple hundred million”


    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Re Larry Summers’ article at Seems to me that we’re already on the grounds of the Downton Abbey manor house, if not inside the front door …

      I agree with you, Klassy. Although it is constructive to see Summers directly acknowledge the inequality issue, I was disappointed to see Summers’ “Go-to” solution is limited to revisions of the corporate and personal tax code rather than a much broader menu of policy prescriptions.

      Maybe he is attempting to preempt discussion of a broader set of policies.

      1. Klassy

        Maybe he is attempting to preempt discussion of a broader set of policies.

        Now for the million dollar question.
        Why should is this clown allowed to write op eds? Hasn’t he caused enough trouble?

  4. TimR

    Not sure if this was ever linked here:
    Makes some interesting points. Here’s an excerpt:
    “Gellman’s story was rightly criticized for being effectively a dick-waving exercise for the U.S. Intelligence apparatus, since it detailed simply how a Bad Guy was killed by the Good Guys with all their sexy technology and savvy. In keeping with their adversarial brand, Scahill and Greenwald mix the NatSec dickwaving with some handwringing over civilians, most of which is provided via quotes from former drone operator and ostensible whistleblower, Brandon Bryant. This passage gives a taste of the overall dickwavey/handwringy mix…”

    I don’t know exactly what to make of “Tarzie” or his self-presentation. But the writing is interesting both in content and style. Looks like he’s also got some recent posts on Chomsky up that I want to read.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’d like some clarity on whether it’s “dick-waving” or “dickwaving.” And this could be a failure of imagination on my part, but it’s not clear to me how one can wave one’s dick while wringing one’s hands.

      1. Clive

        And regarding your second point, I’ve just done some practical experiments and you’ll all be delighted to know that I can confirm it is indeed possible.

      2. Tarzie

        how one can wave one’s dick while wringing one’s hands.

        Keep the bar high, Lambert. Since I never said that the piece did both at once and provided a passage that demonstrated exactly what I meant (We killed people fighting occupation, hooray, but also some civilians, boo hoo), I can’t imagine what you’re attempting here. I think they call it a pissing contest, at least that’s what people who foolishly believe you can piss and type at the same time call it. I just call it trifling.

          1. Tarzie

            I tend to identify sloppy writing with sloppy thinking. YMMV, and apparently does.

            Oh God. Y’know, for a lot of people, including me, nitpicking over things like inconsistent hyphenating and whether or not figures of speech hold up in a literal sense just looks like a shamefully petty, even childish, attempt to to sling mud at a writer without doing the difficult work of contending with the point he’s actually made.

            Surely this exchange will come closer to meeting your goals if it leaves me and most readers humbled by your superior intelligence without any unpleasant scent of bad faith or pettiness. Therefore, from a tactical standpoint, wouldn’t it have made more sense to go straight to the sloppy thinking in the sloppy thinking, since the alleged ‘sloppy writing’, for all its terrible faults, leaves absolutely no doubt about the intended meaning? But you haven’t done that. Which makes it seem like the delight you are obviously taking in yourself is premature, if not unwarranted altogether.

            As to the sloppy writing itself, I must concede that you have me dead to rights over the very weighty matter of the hyphens, but I am unwilling to concede on the point of handwringing and dickwaving, any more than a person who says “It’s raining cats and dogs” must bow before your awe-inspiring cleverness when you point out that, in fact, it’s only raining water. It’s a fallacy, and a really cheap, stupid one at that. I can’t believe you’re presuming to patronize me like a schoolteacher with this bullshit.

            Sorry Lambert, you look even smaller to me in this round than when you first got your dick out. Keep swinging, though. There’s bound to be a few commas out of place and, as you imply, that’ll prove my thinking is sloppy and that you’re not petty and childish after all.

    2. Duck

      I really like this blog, The Rancid Honeytrap its called. The author is a good thinker and makes some incisive criticisms of the left from a left perspective. If Naked Capitalism falls in line with your thinking about issues, it would be very worthwhile to spend an evening reading Tarzie’s backlog on the Snowden/Greenwald affair. A link:

      1. bob

        There is no “I” in “left”. He’s a shrill twit passing off the libertarian BS of the party of one. “I am an island!”

        1. Tarzie

          There is no “I” in “left”. He’s a shrill twit passing off the libertarian BS of the party of one. “I am an island!”

          Cool how you put quotes around shit I never said. The thing I love about Glenn’s fans is the good faith. Like his.

          My point of view is this: the Establishment Left is an elaborate fraud. It’s not about the i in left, it’s about the left in left.

          As to my alleged libertarianism, that’s really interesting considering that a lot of my complaints about Glenn cluster around the libertarian, even reactionary, quality of his leak custodianship:

          1. Treating state secrets as intellectual property
          2. The disproportionate focus on the NSA to the exclusion of corporate complicity
          3. His peerless efforts to reconcile the fight against power with the toxic wealth accumulation of his new boss.

          I find it hilarious that people actually believe one can strike at the heart of empire while cutting deals with corporations and billionaires and being lionized in the Financial Times and Rolling Stone. But then that’s what happens when all you do is breath other people’s Twitter farts.

          Despite nitwits like you, who go straight for smears without even the pretense of an argument, and despite Omidyar’s bargain purchase of way too many careerists with just the whiff of a dream job, people are starting to catch on. So you might want to step up your argument game, dipshit.

      2. Tarzie

        There is no “I” in “left”. He’s a shrill twit passing off the libertarian BS of the party of one. “I am an island!”

        Cool how you use quotes around shit I never said. But then the thing I love most about Glenn’s fans is the abundant good faith. Like his.

        My point of view is this: The Establishment Left, which very much includes Greenwald, is an elaborate fraud, designed to elicit compliance with the appearance of something else. It’s not about the i in left. It’s about the left in left.

        As to my alleged libertarianism, that’s really interesting considering that most of my complaints about Greenwald cluster around the libertarian, even reactionary, character of his leak custodianship:

        1. The equating of leaked state secrets with intellectual property
        2. The single-minded focus on the NSA to the near-exclusion of corporate complicity, which Greenwald and co increasingly whitewash as compliance under duress.
        3. Greenwald’s peerless effort to reconcile fighting power with the toxic wealth accumulation of his new boss.

        I find it hilarious that presumably educated adults believe one can strike at the heart of empire while cutting deals with corporations and billionaires and being lionized in the Financial Times and Rolling Stone. How far we’ve come from Gary Webb! But then this is what happens when the closest people get to history and analysis is breathing their beloved icons’ Twitter farts.

        Despite nitwits like you, who go straight for smears without even the pretense of an argument, and despite Omidyar’s bargain purchase of way-too-many careerists with just the whiff of a dream job, people are starting to catch on. You need to step up your argument game. The schoolyard shit played better a few months ago.

        1. bob

          I, I me, me, mine….

          “Despite nitwits like you, who go straight for smears”

          Or upstanding “rancidhoneytraps” that put words in ‘my’ mouth. Yours isn’t enough anymore? Not enough volume?

          Greenwald is a pimp. Plain and simple. You, are you. Tell us more about the awesomeness that is you. Please?

          1. Tarzie

            Yours isn’t enough anymore? Not enough volume?

            Well, since you asked, no I don’t think it is. Too few on the left are looking at this whole thing analytically, and I think it’s quite a toxic affair. I might write and shout less if others would pick up the slack, but Omidyar has bought quite a lot of silence, and a lot of hype, with the vague promise of a job doing billions-backed ‘independent’ journalism under the prestigious Greenwald brand.

            As to putting words in your mouth: I actually quoted you directly, whereas you put quotes around things I didn’t say. You claimed I was a libertarian, which is clearly contradicted by my main beefs with Greenwald. After all that, you’re going to claim some high ground here, because I credited your smeary, childish jackassery to Greenwald loyalism? It was kind, in retrospect.

            Please do continue to instruct us in left solidarity by excoriating me for the tone I use saying things with which you seem to agree, at least in broad strokes. You’re all about the common ground thing, I can tell.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Unfortunately not able to delete the dupes, since each dupe has a response.

        Adding, or is a response. Sometimes it really is better to wait for a second, rather than press submit over and over. Also, multiple submissions make the spam detector think you’re a spammer, since that’s one of the things spammers do

  5. Steve in Flyover

    Sorry, but I’m having a hard time generating any sympathy for kids that are going around egging cars. Removing eggs is a giant PITA, at best. At worst, you are looking at a new paintjob. Which comes out of the owners pocket, if he is not carrying comp and collision, like many people (including myself) have to do. Anyone priced a paint job from a reputable shop lately? $5k, minimum

    And dont tell me he should have called the cops. They wont do squat, other than take a report. So you can file an insurance claim, assuming you have any.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ” Removing eggs is a giant PITA”

      I’d imagine that defending yourself against “one count of first degree murder, one count of a terroristic act and five counts of aggravated assault might be a bit of a “PITA” as well.

      I’m sure the guy wishes now that he had thought it through instead of going straight to “castle doctrine” or “stand your ground” or “right to bear arms.”

      Don’t they have small claims courts in Arkansas?

      The definition of “full retard” has got to be use of the words “prank” and “terroristic” in reference to the same incident. WTF???

      1. Steve in Flyover

        For you folks that don’t have a clue as to how the real world works, I’ll lay it out for you.

        Unless you catch them in the act, and can find some means of retaining them until the police show up in an hour or two, it’s not even worth your time calling. Just bend over and take the screw job.

        If by some miracle, you are actually able to positively identify the parties involved, here is the sequence of events:

        -Minors pretty much get a free pass.

        -Small claims courts don’t apply. Paint jobs are several thousand dollars. So you hire (and pay) a lawyer.

        -Lawyer runs up several hundred dollars in fees. And gets you a judgement.

        -The problem with a judgement, is that you still have to collect. Good luck with that. About 99% of the population doesn’t have a pot to piss in. A lot of these people have been through several bankruptcies. What’s one more?

        -So you spend a couple of thousand dollars running the legal hoops. And you end up not collecting anything.

        And this is where we are today. With a justice system that is totally ineffective for the average J6P. Mainly designed to extract fees, to support the operatings of the criminal justice system for more important stuff, like murders. I’m not endorsing blasting away at these a-holes, but I can sure understand it.

        The local District Attorney may find he is going to have a problem seating a sympathetic (to the “victim”) jury.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          A word to the wise, Steve. You’d best cool your jets.

          It’s the bankers and poiticians who get to steal, not J6P.

          It’s the cops who get to kill “pranksters”, not J6P.

          All J6P gets for his righteous indignation is a ticket to a for-profit prison and 96 cents a day for his labor.

          Think about it.

        2. PeonInChief

          I’ve had my house burgled, my car stolen and a pickpocket stole my wallet (leaving me stranded several miles from home). All of these were distressing and made me angry. My husband started rattling on about motion sensors and alarms. We had to pay the city to get our car back from the city when it was found. I thought about possible ways in which the perpetrators could do restitution, including scrubbing our bathroom with a toothbrush and clipping our grass with nail scissors. But I never had any desire to blow them away. None, ever.

        3. Massinissa

          Youre kind of defending the indefensible here.

          I dont care whether or not the police would do anything or not: You cant f*cking shoot teenagers when they do stupid shit to you.

          1. Jess

            So, what can you do to them? And what penalty do they pay, if any? Steve In Flyover has correctly outlined the reality of what doesn’t happen, so what’s your solution? A couple I’d like to suggest is:

            a) You don’t get to shoot them but you do get to beat the living f*ck out of them with a baseball bat. Couple of broken arms and legs that take months to heal are pretty much guaranteed to teach these punks a lesson. (Keep in mind, virtually all of the young punks who pull these kinds of “pranks” are spoiled little gangsters/banksters in the making who have never, ever been disciplined or punished for anything by their parents.)

            b) Kids and parents are judgement free, but you get to take everything the family has to cover the repair costs. Their cars, televisions, phones, tools, furniture, cooking utensils, everything except two sets of clothes per person.

            The reason I’m asking these questions in all sincerity is that if there is no real-world actual punishment, then every kid should do these things, and most would. The only difference between kids getting away with this and banksters getting away with their crimes is a question of scale. One commits mayhem small while the other commits mayhem large.

            1. just_kate

              seriously? punishment for eggs, leaves and mayo on a car = a couple of broken arms and legs that take months to heal. no human being was injured by the eggs, leaves and mayo. i’m not saying its not a big deal but the amount of anger towards those kids – one who is now DEAD is disturbing.

              TPing was a big prank in my neighborhood when i was a teenager and it was not done by gangsters or punks (mostly by well regarded jocks) but it pissed off a lot of adults who managed to never physically assault or kill anyone.

              1. Jess

                And you know what I bet? As someone who has worked in athletics from high school to club to college to the pros, those same jocks who think they have an inalienable right to vandalize people’s homes and property also think they have that same right to vandalize a woman’s body.

                I would also like to say that, esp. in these tough economic times, for many people the car that gets vandalized is one of their most valuable and important assets, and they don’t have $5K laying around to repaint it simply because some undisciplined spoiled spiteful punks wanted to have some “fun”.

                1. Jess

                  And BTW, as some one who once had my house TP’d by high school players, I can say that there is a world of difference between cleaning up toilet paper, which you easily do yourself, and having your car repainted which, aside from the cost, means that you’re without your car for about a week.

                2. Yves Smith

                  People who drive drunk are a far bigger danger than kids who engage in pranks. So I take it you’d advocate open season on them too.

                  You have absolutely no sense of proportionality. Your logic is just the same one that Israel uses to engage in genocide of Palestinians, that serious offenses (as defined by the supposed victim) justify a disproportionate response. But yours is even more heinous, since you give yourself to be above the law and act as judge, jury, and executioner, while Israel’s violence is state policy (as in it targets only one, albeit very large population, and even though the policy is sorely misguided, it is based on an existential risk. By contrast, your logic justifies killing anyone for damage to property as minor as not having use of a car for a week). surfaces than car paint). If you know who the kids are (which you have to to be able to beat them up), you can find the parents and sue in small claims court. And you could try referring them to the authorities or their school. You have lots of ways of exacting revenge that are perfectly kosher and will still mess with the kid (as in college/career prospects).

            2. bob

              We need answers! To questions!
              “so what’s your solution?” To kids being stupid? Short of infanticide, which I am not in favor of, I can’t think of any.
              Yours? Baseball bats? I bet 80% of you clint eastwood wannabees couldn’t even swing the baseball bat once, let alone repeatedly, which would be required if these “out of control hoodlums” are as powerful and legion as you claim.
              And what about blood on a car? Would you require the broken little brats to come over in traction to clean your car? Their punishment for bleeding on your property?
              UGLY. No other word for you.

              1. Jess

                Bob — I hereby authorize Yves to give you my email address. Once you contact me we can set up a PayPal deal and you can give me $5K which would be the amount needed to cover the cost of a new paint job on my car if it was egged. After all, $5K is nothing to you. The kids go on their merry way with no penalty and the car owner is just supposed to pay up with a smile?

                1. bob

                  Because it’s baseball bats or you get to put words in my mouth.

                  I hereby authorize you to go out tonight with a baseball bat and find and bloody some of these thugs that are running rampant. Tell the cops I said so.

                  1. skippy

                    Jess will tell the judge and jury that whilst unloading his personalized bedazzled 9mm in the kneeling firing position, as the kids are fleeing, that he was defending his personal space.

                    skippy… maybe these sorts should get a year sentence riding the Tokyo subway trains at peak hour… snort.

                2. just_kate

                  I believe it was the man’s sons car that was egged, sprinkled with leaves and some mayo added to the crime – the same son who reportedly pranked the offending kids in the first place. so when you guys talk about 5K paint jobs and spoiled kids – its the kids car for goodness sake so who gives a fuck about some dumb cosmetic damage. a young girl is DEAD. over EGGS and LEAVES and MAYO.

          2. hunkerdown

            What makes this case less-than-defensible for me is *only* that dad’s kid threw the first punch months ago, making it some sort of OWS writ small. Absent that instigation, nobody is entitled to maliciously and willfully violate others’ clear boundaries without due process or risk, including to life and limb.

            Tell me, why should such blatant trespasses normally end well for the trespassers? A lack of effective recourse is equivalent to tacit endorsement.

            1. hunkerdown

              Seriously, if you can suggest a better means of making it extremely unattractive for certain socially inexperienced groups of people, largely shielded from effective recourse by cultural accident, from inflicting performance art on the non-consenting, please and thank you I’m all ears.

    2. JohnL

      Vincent & Lance in Pulp Fiction, on their way to murder some people, talking about a keyed car. Not sure Tarentino intended this as a how-to movie:

      In this gentleman’s case, I’m sure he’ll find the bullet holes and the blood stains and the bits of skull will be an even bigger PITA. He should’ve watched the whole movie. And this being real life, alas no instant redemption for him.

      1. bob

        Also, since we’re talking about “real life” and not some movie plot- Getting put into handcuffs and taken away to the police station puts a pretty good damper on taking a hose and cleaning it all off, quickly.
        But, those are real world problems.

    3. Jagger

      Clearly this guy was on the line and the egging sent him postal. Anytime, a person intentional provokes someone else, there is a risk of an explosion and in this case everyone paid a big price. Sad and another reason for being respectful of others.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        We have a situation where the kid’s ability (and desire) to trash stuff far exceeds their ability to pay the price, if/when they get caught.

        1. Massinissa

          Because egging a car totally deserves capital punishment.

          The price for a stupid ass immature prank shouldnt be DEATH.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yeah, kids these days: Loud music, egging cars. I’m not enthusiastic about either. However, I — and this is the point, surely — don’t go out and kill them because I don’t have ready access to firearms.

      The point is not your sympathy, which nobody asked for, but the externalities of a country awash in guns, a policy goal second amendment absolutists successfully achieved, and now wish to evade responsibility for.

      * * *

      Unless you’re saying the guy whose car got egged should have whacked the kids?

      1. Steve in Flyover

        I’m saying that I’ve been where he’s at. And can understand why he may have felt the need to do SOMETHING. Because the criminal justice and/or civil court system sure as hell isn’t.

        This comes from a guy who has had his work tools stolen from his truck repeatedly. And has had some experience trying to collect judgements.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’m all for understanding. In fact, it’s exactly because I understand that I think having a lot of weapons lying about is a really bad idea. Gun advocates don’t, their views carried the day, and here we are.

          1. BondsOfSteel

            Apparently, the price of a human life is $5000. (The high end estimate of the paint job.)

            I know mine is worth much more than that to me. We need to raise that price. Since any reasonable limits on guns are not going to happen, I think we need to raise the cost of gun usage.

            Yes… I’m talking about criminalizing the accidental shootings. Why should you not go to jail if you accidently shoot someone? We could even take it further and criminalize the “justified” shootings.

            You shoot someone… you got to jail. Why you shot someone should just affect the length of sentence.

            P.S. This case, where someone intentionally shot an unarmed 15yr old girl in the back… is murder. If she was one year younger, he would be eligible for the death penalty.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Even in some Third World countries, they are worth more than that.

              Let’s see $1/hr x 2000 hours/yr x 30 years = $60,000.

              Roughly speaking.

              But, wait.

              You get cash discount…40% off.

              (Gavel slams down) Sold!

              $36,000, to the one-handed gentleman sporting a neoliberal T-shirt.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Unfortunately, that one-armed gentleman was subsequently fired, for failing to put in a realistic expected future inflation rate and internal rate of return, which should bring the present cash value to, believe it or not, $5000.

                Again, the lesson here is obvious – you have to be math-smart.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I still think Just-In-Time-Slavery at zero-percent interest, on a ‘pay as you go’ installment plan, $1/hr (and no need to provide room and board – outsourcing is for everyone) is a better deal.

              2. bob

                In parts alone a fresh dead body is worth over 20k, or so I’ve been told. Not a hard number, just a ballpark.

            2. JTFaraday

              “Yes… I’m talking about criminalizing the accidental shootings”

              These so-called “castle doctrine” and similar cases don’t sound “accidental” to me.

              There is intent to kill, which intention they believe is somehow justified, expressed in that ill thought out legal argument– and on this thread.

              Intention is just the kind of thing that escalates the charges. They should be escalated.

        2. bob

          “Because the criminal justice and/or civil court system sure as hell isn’t.”

          Record numbers of prisoners and record low crime rates. It seems like the police state isn’t enough for you yet.

  6. jjmacjohnson

    Seems to me the attack on the power grid was a test by government agents to see if it could be done. Way too much inside knowledge and so little damage for all the effort. Too clean too.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am not sure I agree that it was an inside job. I also don’t agree with your “… little damage for all the effort.”

      it is interesting to note that it occurred 13 hours after the Boston bombings and we are just now really reading about it. That tells me that the perps caused serious damage to the comfort of our growing police state.

      The act was done by intelligent folks, maybe at least one engineer that could easily figure out the layout, targets, what cables to cut and where and one competent shooter.

      Hey global plutocrats and their puppets! GOT FEAR!!!!!

      If you lose the “faith” of the engineers of the world, your days are numbered. And I wouldn’t want to fly in a plane, ride in a car or use any electronic device that you aren’t sure could not harm you.

      I see this as an encouraging sign for the rest of us. Smart people are waking up to the cancer of the class system.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Engineer? Not even required. Anyone who knows anything about the power grid whatsoever know what to shoot.

        Hell you don’t even need guns. Just some conductive cable/wire, and enough helium balloons to lift them.

        Our whole infrastructure is built on about 85 pounds of crap. With just barely enough knowledgeable staff to keep things running/patched together. All kinds of stuff will go bad in a time of crisis.

        Example: Airlines grounding planes, because there aren’t enough ATPs to fly them (well, not enough of them that will accept $20K/year)

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Is Hillary Clinton the president we need at this time?

    “Wall Street folks are so happy about [having Clinton run] that they won’t care what she says,” says one well-placed Democrat.

    Exactly. Because once they’re in, we’re all stuck with them. A lesson we can only hope Obama has taught the country well.

    “Someone whose husband, by the way, did much of the deregulating that got us into trouble in the first place?”

    Right again. That media consolidation thing comes in pretty handy for generating a “groundswell” that may not really even be there. I haven’t seen much evidence of the Hillary hysteria we’re all supposed to be feeling.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…they won’t care what she says.’

      I think people are too obsessed with the verbal form of communication.

      The rich communicate non-verbally via body language and telepathy.

      They KNOW what she will do, without having to say anything to each other – if one has been in love, one knows what I am talking about here…one glance is enough.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Greenwald has already indicated he will come to the US for an awards ceremony, which raises an interesting question. If Greenwald, as some suggest, should be charged with a crime because he’s not a journalist, how exactly do you go about arresting him while he is receiving one of the top awards for journalism?

      Also, a look at the other winners of the Polk Award is enlightening. Notice a common thread in the selections?

  8. Clive

    Re: Turkey in eye of emerging market storm as everything goes wrong at once

    (as per Mehmet Şimşek …)

    “Turkey is an open economy. We’ll maintain market-friendly policies. There’ll be no restrictions on capital movements,” he said, denying rumours that Turkey would impose curbs like Egypt, Ukraine, and Ghana. (Evans-Pritchard forgot to mention Iceland. And Cyprus…)

    What complete and utter shameless chutzpah from Şimşek ! But, I suppose, what else can he do ?

    By which I mean, restrictions on capital movements can either be imposed overtly (i.e. the state declares the limitations explicitly) or they happen covertly (i.e. you can’t get ForEx at anything other than nosebleed prices so you either take a hideous bath as a price for getting your capital extracted from the country in question or else you wait it out, hope for the best and see what happens).

    Turkey. The failed neocon experiment (“market-friendly policies” — please someone, pass me the sick bag) coming soon to a country near me (perhaps).

    That would be the UK by the way. I’m amazed that the rest of the world remains delighted to accept our sovereign paper in exchange for their lovely goodies (oh, those and a load of Chinese tat). That paper represents a claim on the UK’s future value creation ability. Which is what, exactly ? Not that I’m complaining, long may it continue. But it can’t I don’t think go on forever.

    1. Synopticist

      We seem to have got away with QE, which is pretty fortunate. It also means the true size of the national debt is a third less than everyone says.

  9. Garrett Pace

    Checklist Manifesto

    People may rebel at the thought of having their jobs distilled down to a series of simple tasks on a list, but this is a necessary step on the path to replacing their jobs with robots.

  10. JohnL

    Alive in the sunshine. Excellent piece. Here in my community we have back-to-the-landers who have been here since the 70s struggling now because of health care costs. Young farmers following in their footsteps using the food bank in the winter. And all the while the second homes get bigger. Something gotta give.

      1. JohnL

        Washington, top left corner. I like the way the article points out that as overproduction and overconsumption are the problem, “guaranteed jobs for all” can hardly be the solution. The guaranteed jobs for all -> compulsory jobs for all -> workhouses slippery slope always looked like a neoliberal wet dream to me.

          1. JohnL

            I feel an essay coming on, but I’ll resist…
            In short, yes, so much to do. This community runs on volunteers. People who are spending 20, 40+ hours a week doing things that are absolutely necessary and for which they should be getting paid, but for which in this market economy there is no one to pay them. Those from academic or elite non-profit backgrounds can write grant applications, the rest of us just suck it up. So I have to supplement my useful (but unpaid) work for the water system with useless (but paid) work for a plastics company (I write regulatory compliance databases for them, so perhaps that makes me an enabler?) in order to pay my health insurance premiums.

          2. Massinissa

            Capitalist overproduction and other overproduction are not the same thing.

            Theres lots of work to be done, sure: But its stuff the capitalist system wont do or pay for because theres no profit for the capitalists in it.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            No machine or system can run forever.

            Our System or our Machine should be shut down for a few days or maybe a few months for safety inspection.

            Anyone who has ever worked with machines knows that…I don’t care if it’s made in Germany, Japan, America or China.

          4. Ben Johannson

            Shows how conservative even the supposed “real” left has become, assuming jobs can only be created by the business sector. They seem to have no awareness jobs can be created by the public sector for the purpose of environmental protection.

            Down with the old left!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That is not to say the public sector should continue to enable the production of more bombs so the environment can be cleaned up after the consumption of said production, for example.

              What is overlooked, in general, here is that if we continue to over-produce too-many-to-list products/services, there will be ever more jobs to clean up.

              Perhaps that is a virtuous cycle, or perhaps not.

              Thus, some people may reference over-production (of too-many-to-list products/services) and ask shouldn’t we prioritize less-consumption/less-production over guaranteed jobs for all.

    1. coboarts

      “five hundred pounds a year will keep one alive in the sunshine” this has always been my motto, however, late fifties takes the fun out of folly… This was a well thought out, well written article. I have never understood why the great ape hasn’t turned our global home into the beautiful stage for hosting our most creative lives for which it holds the potential. Too bad we aren’t descendants of the Bonobos. Maybe with the upcoming meltdown of the global financial system we will have an opportunity to move toward a basic income/shared work system. As I suggested in a previous comment, there is no reason to pay taxes as there is no value to the currency, it is already printed by fiat in whatever quantity desired. Except for the illusion of value, there is no value to anything used as currency – no matter how many zeros you put behind it. If everyone is forced to realize this, and we all need the same basic things to survive and even thrive, maybe, a chance. On the other hand, it looks like the insanity of our betters will drive us into the wars, famines, plagues and insurrections due.

      1. Benedict@Large

        The value of the currency is obvious come April 15th. Pay or go to jail.

        And there is nothing new in this. Per Graeber (“Debt”), occupying armies frequently created a currency and then taxed it, backing it similarly in order to finance themselves. If the people were lucky, the occupying army then protected them from other invasions. If they weren’t, well then you get Wall Street and the like.

        1. coboarts

          But they hadn’t gotten the chance to read Graeber, and we have. I pay my taxes on time, the basis of government is the threat of force, but one day soon the financial system is going bust, “everybody knows” (at least at NC).

          1. coboarts

            I would have to go back and reread “Debt,” but I believe the original reference was to a ruler who paid the army in a currency he minted and accepted it back from them for the taxes they had to pay to him. That established the currency’s value, that it would be accepted for taxes. That is not different than the IOUs offered by the State of California that were accepted for tax purposes (and little else).

            I doubt that an occupying army would be satisfied with tribute paid as taxes in the form of some currency, unless the currency was minted from a metal they deemed valuable, otherwise they would require tribute of real material value.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Taxation itself doesn’t force people to do anything.

              It’s the threat of force behind taxation and everything else the occupation army desires.

              ‘Drive your mule on the right side or we forcibly will physically confine you.’

              ‘Use this paper currency (in our tax free haven), or you go to jail’ (see, mom, no taxation).

              ‘Salute the emperor, or you mine salt for the rest of your life.’

              ‘Pay taxes, or you row the trireme.’

              Taxation doesn’t seem rank higher etiologically. The prime mover here, in all cases, is the threat of force.

    2. Klassy

      I did not get the sense that she was advocating for a back to the land movement or even small scale production.

  11. Chris

    About Class War in San Francisco
    Lifetime native of the city here. A closer perspective than that of Rebecca Solnit quoted in the London Review.

    Would just like to point out that the Mission District was once Irish and German Middle Class, they were driven out by Spanish speaking poor people in the 1960s and 1970s. The Castro was called the Eureka Valley and it was Middle Class Irish and German and mostly Catholic. They were driven out by rich gay landlords in the 1980s.

    “City of Refuge, a church serving people of colour and queer people, left San Francisco, a city that has long considered itself a refuge,” No, certain recent arrivals in the city consider it a refuge. Most multi generation San Franciscans do not and are glad to see them go to Oakland.

    Things change, get over it. The city is improving although the current city administration is a pawn to tech and big money and is still infested with the ideological hangers on from the Summer of Love that now have occupied almost all civil service managerial and political jobs.

    1. Tommy

      Pure poppycock. This is a carbon copy of thousands of replies to SF blogs concerning gentrification. It is a totally white centric anti working class ahistorical load of poop. One: (And I’ve heard this from ‘natives’ for 30 years in the Mission) The neighborhood was never exclusively irish and some german. It was everyone you can imagine. Just looking over names on census/address lists shows that. I think Burrito Justice was posting long lists of names a while back. But it’s searchable public record. Plus the fact is in history books. HMM, such a ‘middle class’ neighborhood somehow it was the focal point of almost all radicalism from 1910 to the 1960’s, along with parts of Soma. It is where the majority of the 34 general strike people lived. It even still has the ‘ex’ IWW hall. A radical multi colored anarchist union. Very many white people left in the late 40’s to mid 60’s as they did in ALL other cities. They were not forced out. They were ‘bribed’ out..FHA loans only mostly went to white people from 1945 to 1965 and then only if you moved to the suburbs or lived on an all white block. They left because of their racism. And/or they left because since the majority of all wage gains from 1945 to 1960, and majority of ALL subsidies went to whites, they were able to buy houses in the suburbs rather than rent. OHH poor upstanding Irish were ‘kicked out’ by Latinos. Indeed. What is happening now IS forced relocation. Families have to leave communities, pull their kids from schools, hundreds of my white and brown friends of 25 years having to move and leave their home…all because of speculation fueled by a massive rentier transfer to the 10%. Another fucking bubble. NOT organic ‘change’. Yes , embrace change. That is , cleanse the city of the working class! 2nd time in just over 10 years. This time, there will be rage. Not just waving at google bus crap. And the ‘gay’ landlord thing forcing out the heteros is laughable. The rich of all gender and color but mostly the old school white scum forced the working class gays and the old families out! Anyone that owned a house cashed in big. Cry me a river for them. BTW, you are so uneducated you probably think Solnit is some ‘hero’ to the left. Actually she is very much despised by many here and everywhere. You can google to find out why. Most readers here know why. Her analysis is myopic IMO. She still has not brought up once in two years, how her democrats that we ‘must’ vote for, are completely behind all this speculation. In fact DIRECTLY helped manufacture it.

  12. JGordon

    “Just another Second Amendment externality?”

    Well, at least you are to the point of admitting that the Second Amendment grants private individuals the right to bear arms. That’s progress anyway.

    Also, one of the reasons that so many people support the Second Amendment is that they believe that government is 1) in permanent decline (towards eventual dissolution) and 2) irredeemably corrupt–and they would make the logical case that those who rely on the corrupt government for protection are a pretty naive lot. Some police departments around the nation are already advertising that they’re stopping patrols in many areas due to economic realities. That trend is going to be more and more widespread as time goes on.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The rich also think it’s naïve to rely on the government for 100% protection.

      Sure, they have their guys in all the important positions, but they still have to stay up late at night, every night, to make sure no robbers break into their mansions and/or work on the deepening of their moats — these are the details of what the rich are working on harder in today’s other article, the rich work harder because they are rich.

      So, no one can rely on the government – some buy guns, while others work hard(er) buidling stronger castles.

      1. hunkerdown

        And others outsource to Erik Prince and rest easy, knowing pure-hearted mercenary freelancing and class allegiance when they see them.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t admit that, because the case for believing the gun nuts are a well-regulated militia is so outrageously stupid it took election-stealer Scalia to get the Constitution interpreted that way. But it’s a lost cause, so I don’t push it.

      As to your third paragraph, what you’re saying is that gun nuts are going to be neighborhood war lords. Surely something to look forward to.

  13. fresno dan

    The matter with Kansas now: The Tea Party, the 1 percent and delusional Democrats Salon

    “Why not? Well, for conservatives, the whole thing is mentally off-limits thanks to the blatant contradictions between their populist rhetoric and their rich-enriching policy deeds. They may talk proletarian righteousness constantly, but always in an evasive, sentimental way, more Norman Rockwell than John L. Lewis. If you want something more than rhetoric from them — something more solid than anger-stirring culture-war clichés — you basically have to be the Koch Brothers.

    For the ruling faction of the Democratic party, meanwhile, I felt like the Kansas story triggered a bout of guilty conscience. To begin with, there was something true at the core of all the conservative bullshit: we really are ruled by a meritocratic, professional elite — just look at the members of the president’s cabinet, or who gets interviewed on NPR — and a great number of meritocratic believers really are found in the ranks of the Democrats. As a party, they are openly in love with expertise; it is who they are; it means more to them than any ideology. It’s the awful story of “The Best and the Brightest” repeating itself over and over and over again.

    Even more alarming for Democrats were the stark implications of “Kansas” for their grand strategy of “centrism.” As I tried to make plain back in 2004, the big political change of the last 40 years didn’t happen solely because conservatives invented catchy conspiracy theories, but also because Democrats let it happen. Democrats essentially did nothing while their pals in organized labor were clubbed to the ground; they leaped enthusiastically into action, however, when it was time to pass NAFTA and repeal Glass-Steagall. Working-class voters had nowhere else to go, they seem to have calculated, and — whoops! — they were wrong. The Kansas story represented all their decades of moderating and capitulating and triangulating coming back to haunt them.”

    Maybe – but to play devil’s (i.e., democrats) advocate, I’m sure democrats would say that money is an absolute necessity – that one’s “brand” is revealed to the public through commercial advertising, and without money the democrats could not win irrespective of any policy. On matters of the following the wall street line, there is no substantive difference between the blues and reds.

    1. Benedict@Large

      OK, but that’s saying democracy can’t work. How about if one party gets all the money, and so wins every seat that’s up for grabs. Don’t they eventually have to do something that the voters like? How long could a pure hard right government last before the electorate threw a fit?

      Democracy is not a single election or even a few, which is what money buys. Give the people enough time and enough lies, and they will figure it out.

      1. JTFaraday

        Well, sometimes “democracy” doesn’t work. As for hard right governments, if we get a real hard right government–like say, one of those lovely little CIA-Chicago School creations that Naomi Klein details in The Shock Doctrine— then there aren’t going to be any fits.

        This is why we can’t separate the police state and our civil rights and liberties from economics the way some liberals want us to.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Angela Merkel proposes European network to beat NSA…

    Is she going to know everything our presidents says on the phone now?

  15. participant-observer-observed

    Question for the NC community & friends,

    I noticed how banks are pimping to retail customers (as a free distribution) a security software package which reportedly inserts itself into your communications pipeline alongside existing antivirus-firewall–security software, Trusteer Rapport. The board of directors of the company reads like a nsa-lgbtq-mossad hiring wish-list.

    Are there other competitors out there? What is the diversity of bank online security options internationally?

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to the article from Reuters: “Asia stocks rally, dollar slips as emerging market fears wane”. Luved the whole piece, but particularly the expected insertion of the word “unexpected”: … “A run of weak U.S. data, including an unexpected fall in January manufacturing output on Friday, has caused some investors to revise their expectations of how fast the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus and tighten monetary policy.”

    So, to summarize:
    • The unexpected decline in industrial production (the most since May 2009) followed
    • The unexpected decline in retail sales which in turn followed
    • The unexpectedly weak jobs report in February
    • Which followed the unexpected “Miss” in ISM; the Largest Decline in New Orders in 4 Years
    • Which followed the unexpected “Miss” in Nonfarm Payrolls +74,000 vs. 205,000 Expected in January
    • Which concurrently saw an unexpected 57% year over year increase in California home foreclosures… (h/t Ricefarmer)

    Evidently all is unexpectedly good in the eyes of those participating in the bizarro world of financial markets. And particularly so when coupled with the unexpected $425 billion increase in credit during the month of January in China which was propelled by multiples of the Fed’s QE from the PBoC:

    Is there some reason not to expect the unexpected to continue?

    … Oh, Btw, welcome to the world of dog walkers, cabana boys, and personal chefs.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Yes, Lambert, thank you for this link to Greer’s post. I look forward to subsequent parts. I am reminded of the quote attributed to George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think Greer seriously underestimates how bad 30s Germany was, and the truly evident badness of the Nazi Party at the time. If the depth of evil to come was not clear, it was certainly clear, to those who didn’t blind themselves, that the Nazis were “evil enough.”

  17. Ronald Pires

    Beautiful antidote du jour. For any not recognizing this, it’s a turtle hatchling, probably about an hour old, having survived it’s first two great tests in life: digging itself out of the sand in which it’s mom buried her eggs, and making its way from that nest to water without being turned into some bird’s dinner. A good half of this turtle’s siblings probably didn’t fare as well.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I try to imagine what I would do if I had a billion dollars.

      I came up with

      1. my own island
      2. win a yacht race
      3. become immortal
      4. own a professional baseball or basketball team
      5. lording over everyone
      6. gamble for another billion – money for money’s sake
      7. buy a newspaper and write everyday I am a smart, caring and rich guy.
      8. get a star to sing at my birthday party

      Then I realize some are pretty empty and some, not quite possible.

      1. F. Beard

        3. become immortal

        For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

  18. fresno dan

    Nice summary of the capture of most income by the 1%

    “To amass that incremental $1.6 trillion, the 1 percent took 68 percent of all personal income growth between 1993 and 2012. To be fair, those same folks lost a great deal of income during the 2008 financial collapse, because much of their income comes from financial assets. But during the recovery of 2009-2012, they took a whopping 95 percent of the income growth — so their relative income and wealth positions are nearly all the way back to their pre-2008 high.

    The canonical retort to such musings is that all segments of society benefit from a well-fed and contented super-rich. They are the ones, the argument goes, who supply the high-octane financial fuel to maintain America’s advantage in high technology, keep its job-creation machinery humming, and lay the foundation for solid long-term growth.

    Unfortunately, that is not proved true in recent experience. Since financial markets were liberalized in the 1980s, the finance sector’s income and debt has soared, income inequality has skyrocketed, and the world economy has flopped from crisis to crisis – the Savings and Loan fiasco, the petrodollar debacle, and the leveraged buyout circuses of the 1980s; the “hot-money” driven currency crises and hedge-fund collapses of the 1990s, and the hallucinatory mortgage games of the 2000s.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘….all segments of society benefit from a well-fed and contented super-rich.’

      And we laugh at benefits-beseeching medieval serfs sacrificing virgins to the dragon to keep it well-fed and content?

      1. hunkerdown

        No, we smile knowingly at the ways that technology has (albeit temporarily) democratized production, and at how that old chestnut has disappeared into the memory hole now that it no longer buys the MOTU anything they’d want.

        Besides, jus primae noctis is a more “renewable” resource.

  19. fresno dan

    quote of the day:
    “Recent history is not showing us that this is something we should hope for. But there is a real question of, How do we create a new generation of bankers that are going to think of themselves as the caretakers of society, rather than the rapists?”

    Uh, neuter them….and I don’t mean figuratively….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How do those caretaking bankers?

      Empowering ourselves – we can all be bankers…sort of.

      Here is how: Money creation through the (little) people spending it into existence, instead of the government spending into existence.

      Next up, Capitalism 101.

      Collectively, how we the (little) people spend (freely, as in a free market) that money, theoretically, is the best way to allocate the total sum of that money.

      So, don’t give up on capitalism and free market just yet!

  20. Propertius

    If you do choose to speak in favour of the proposal we thought you might appreciate some guidance on what to say. Feel free to add your own style and opinion:

    My shuttle empowers my colleagues and I to reduce our carbon emissions by removing cars from the road.

    Apparently it does not empower Google to hire someone who knows how to use the objective case.

  21. Bernard

    to kill someone because they egged your car?! wow. what anger! Get off my lawn. frightening. the value of things vs. the value of life. obviously not.

    scary angry people, if only that anger were focused on how we got to this “here and now”. seems that guy was right about hiring one half to kill the other half. but maybe that response/” anger” is not an accident, but designed that way.

    and of course, the free range of unlimited guns.

    win, win, win. scary. like out of the Sci Fi book, “To Serve Man.”

    the Morlocks and the Eloi. our present and our future.

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